1. SDG India Index & Dashboard 2019–20

Why in news?
  • NITI Aayog will launch the second edition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) India Index, which documents the progress made by India’s States and Union Territories towards implementing the 2030 SDG targets.
  • The SDG India Index and Dashboard 2019–20 have been developed in collaboration with the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), the United Nations in India, and the Global Green Growth Institute.
  • NITI Aayog has the mandate of overseeing the adoption and monitoring of SDGs in the country, at the national and sub-national level.
  • The SDG India Index, whose first edition was launched in December 2018, was the first tool developed by any large country to monitor the progress towards achieving SDGs at the sub-national level.
  • The SDG India Index and Dashboard 2019 tracks the progress of and ranks all States and UTs on 100 indicators drawn from MoSPI’s National Indicator Framework, comprising 306 indicators.
  • It indicates where the country and its States and UTs currently are on SDG implementation, and charts the distance to be travelled to reach the SDG targets.

The Index covers 16 out of 17 SDGs and a qualitative assessment on Goal 17. This marks an improvement over the 2018 Index, which covered only 13 goals.

2. Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations

Why in news?
  • The Union Cabinet gave its ex-post facto approval to the Adaptation of Laws (Amendment) Order, 2019 issued by the President of India under clause (2) of Article 372 of the Constitution to amend the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations (BEFR), 1873.
Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873:
  • The notification will extend BEFR to the State of Manipur to give its indigenous people protection from the provisions of Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 and make necessary changes in the said Regulation.
  • This regulation introduced the Inner Line Permit (ILP) concept. (The ILP regulates visit of Indians to States where ILP regime is prevalent under Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.)
  • The Regulation protected the British Crown’s interest in the tea, oil and elephant trade by prohibiting “British subjects” from entering into these “Protected Areas” (to prevent them from establishing any commercial venture that could rival the Crown’s agents).
  • The word “British subjects” was replaced by “Citizens of India” in 1950.
  • In terms of Section 2 of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulations, 1873, the Inner Line Permit system is prevalent in the three North Eastern States, namely, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland. Citizens of other States require ILP for visiting these three States.
  • The main aim of the ILP system is to prevent settlement of other Indian nationals in the States where the ILP regime is prevalent, in order to protect the indigenous/tribal population.

3. Rohtang Tunnel

Why in news?
  • Recently, The Union Cabinet has decided to name the Strategic Tunnel after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
About Rohtang Tunnel:
  • It is the world’s longest tunnel above an altitude of 3,000 metres.
  • It stretches about 8.8-kilometre long.
  • It is a 10.5-metre wide single tube bi-lane tunnel.
  • It will reduce the distance between Manali and Leh by 46 kilometres.
  • It is a strategic implication for the military as it will allow access beyond Rohtang Pass even in peak winters.
  • It will provide us with the all-winter connectivity to Ladakh.
About Rohtang Pass:
  • It is a high mountain pass on the eastern Pir Panjal Range of the Himalayas.
  • It connects the Kullu Valley with the Lahaul and Spiti Valleys of Himachal Pradesh.
  • The three rivers in the region of the pass are Chenab, Beas and Chandra rivers.
  • The Beas river emerges from underground and flows southwards, Chandra river flows in the eastern Himalayas and Chenab river flows westward.

4. Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)

Why in news?
  • Recently, the cabinet approved the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
About CDS:
  • The CDS will be ranked as four-star General.
  • He will head the Department of Military Affairs (DMA), which is created in the Ministry of Defence.
  • He will act as a principal military adviser to the Defence minister on all service matters.
  • He will be a Permanent Chairman to the Chiefs of Staff Committee (COSC).
  • He will function as the Military Adviser to the Nuclear Command Authority.
  • He will be above the three Service Chiefs, as a part of higher-level military reforms.
Under the ambit of DMA
  • The armed force will be brought under the DMA, which will deal with works relating to the three services.
  • It will also deal with the procurement exclusive to the Services, except capital acquisition, as per prevalent rules and procedures.
  • It mandates the CDS which includes bringing about jointness in operation, logistics, transport, training, support services, communications, repairs and maintenance.

5. Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air missiles (QRSAM

Why in news?
  • Recently, DRDO has successfully test-fired indigenously developed Quick Reaction Surface-to-Air missiles (QRSAM).
About QRSAM:
  • It is a sophisticated all-weather and all-terrain missile.
  • It is developed to replace the ‘Akash’ missile defence system.
  • It has 360-degree coverage. It uses solid fuel propellant.
  • It has a strike range of 25-30 km with capability of hitting multiple targets.
  • It is capable of hitting the low flying objects.
  • It can be mounted on a truck and stored in a canister.
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